Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sam told me about a young boy from his 7th period class who shot himself this week....
Don't you wish we had eyes to see and ears to listen for the pain of one so young so that we might help in some way or tell him to hang on for today..God, give me these eyes today and these ears that I may see one who is hurting and hear one who is crying...

Texas me and you*

This is why I love West Texas...the weather.
I remember back in college I went to see Jeremiah Johnson. Some of you may not remember this movie but it all takes place in the snow. When I went in the movie a dust storm was brewing and it was like so hot. I came out of that movie and it was snowing! I remember it being this surreal moment to spend 2 hours in the snow in a movie only to walk outside to unexpected snow. I couldn't believe it. I had moved here from Alabama and had no idea the weather could change that quickly.
I get so excited with weather change and I really don't know why. Its just this amazing power that can't be stopped. (sounds a bit Zen huh) As a matter of fact weather change reminds me first of all I am not in control and second there is something so much more powerful than me that's in charge.
It just puts a smile on my face and I can't seem to wipe it off the rest of the day!

Yesterday it was 76 degrees and right now its 25 degrees and snow!!

and..did I mention school is cancelled and I am off today?...

From "Texas Me and You" by Asleep At The Wheel

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I was base...

I am standing in the middle of the play area watching my class experience the outside. Our morning schedule involves classroom time all morning. I have just started taking them out after lunch to have this playtime before rest time and they love it.
"Ms. Mann, you are base", they tell me as they hang on to my legs and arms and come at me hitting me at full speed.
I just stood there as they laughed around me and thought how cool and how humbling it is to be base. Base is a safe place where noone gets to tag you out. While you are on base you are safe.
All this made me think about the friends who have been base to me in these last few months and most especially these last two weeks. You see when you are base you really don't have to do anything you just stand there and listen and provide a safe place for others to go. Most times people who have been base don't even realize they were.
When we were at our friend's house for Thanksgiving the father took Sam out and played with him nonstop. They played football, we played baseball and then he took me and Whitney and the boys to play Disc Golf at Zilknor Park. Sam had the best time with this man. This man chose to take the time to just be with Sam. He was base. I will never forget the college boys and this man who have taken Sam in and just played video games with him or thrown a football. They have been base for him and I will forever be grateful.
Don't miss an opportunity to be base...I think that what Jesus calls us to do in bearing one another's burdens. I know I will be watching for those opportunities more than I ever have before.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Let's write another story....

He walked out of the hospital looking back up at the window where she was. He knew what he had to do and he was ready now. He turned the key to the ignition, put his foot on the gas and headed to....

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep." -- Homer anyway me and Whitney and Sam are making a big ole pallet on the floor and sleeping at the house tonight!!

and...we aren't even scared!!


"This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls." ..John Keating..Dead Poet's Society

I was undercutting, jabbing, kicking and it felt wonderful! .....somehow empowered...

I grabbed a towel, waterbottle, tennis shoes and headed to the gym to try out a Body Combat Class. Body Combat is non-combat, martial arts-based fitness program with moves drawn from karate, taekwando, kung fu, kickboxing, muay thai and tai chi. I'm not much of a fighter but it felt so good. I spent the entire 55 minutes trying to hit every punch and place every kick. In the end I was sweaty but somehow cleansed. After the class I sat in my car with the towel around my neck and my head on the steering wheel just sobbing. I'm not sure why I was crying. In some weird way this class had a cathartic effect on me.

So....this is now my favorite class!...and yeah, one more thing, don't mess with me...:)

We are all on a journey. Each one of our souls are marked by the experiences that each day brings. I am a weary traveler but its so much more exciting with a machete in hand clearing the brush from the less traveled path then the other option..

God bring each one of my friends who are reading this peace and comfort and joy. I am thankful for each one of you and how you have reached out to me by email, by phone, and yes, Candy by planting pansies. We have survived something that can only make us stronger...the only other route is bitterness and I'm not going there.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Only God knows where the story ends for me
But I know where the story begins
It's up to us to choose
Whether we win or loose
And I choose to win*
*From "No More Drama" by Mary J. Blige

Friday, November 17, 2006

Like dark turning into day.. Somehow we'll come through ..Love will find a way *

I encountered evil on Monday...
I encountered love on Tuesday...
I encountered love on Wednesday...
I encountered love on Thursday...
I encountered love on Friday...

random hugs..random smiles..random words of love..

*From "Love Will Find a Way" by Heather Headley & Kenny Lattimore

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

umm...I am okay. We are okay. At this risk of sounding a little dark..I just don't know how to bounce back from this one. Every week has served me drama and this week I spent so much time in my classroom working readying for the week. I printed out a gym schedule and highlighted the times I would go. Excited that some dramas from last week had been cleared up. Then to get punched in the stomach with this. I am weary...does that sound like I am feeling sorry for myself?..hope not. Don't get me wrong, I feel incredibly blessed with the fact that my son is safe. I know I have my health and so much more to be thankful for but I am weary and now fearful.
I love you all for your concern and have been overwhelmed by the group who showed up cleaning up the mess left behind and fixing my windows, locks and sliding glass door. So sweet.

Monday, November 13, 2006

But you, you're not allowed, you're uninvited*

Woke up this morning at 1:00 to Sam's screams, "Mom, Mom." I ran in only to find Sam looking like his whole world had been shaken. The words I heard next took my feeling of safety away and replaced it with fear.."Mom, there was a man and he just jumped the fence."
Sam was sleeping on a mattress in the living room when he woke up only to see a man standing at the foot of the mattress. He said he struggled to get up and the man came at him and pushed him aside sending Sam falling back onto the exercise bike. Sam then got up and the man pushed him out the sliding glass door onto the patio table and chairs.
What I saw as we walked through the house was like a scene from a old high school prom thriller. In my bathroom were words written on the mirror in toothpaste, "NOT DONE." On the counter of my bathroom were the pictures of my kids from my wallet slit through with the knife lying beside it. My bedroom was completely ransacked...files thrown around the room..clothes everywhere including one of my dresses draping the door. Now came the most disturbing scene. We walked into the living room where Sam was sleeping and saw the butcher knife pointing where Sam slept and other knives strewn about. There was a slit in the bed sheet and a slit in my big chair. Sam's homework was lying right above where Sam's head was. The scissors lying on the floor were used to cut Sam's name out of his homework page and another pair of scissors were lying beside an encouragement card to Sam and his name was cut out of that too. All the cabinets and drawers were open in the kitchen. They never made it around to where I was.
My kids have decided that it was best that I slept through it because never underestimate the power of a mother bear. If I had seen that guy touch my son I would have been on him and he would have never known what hit him.
The police came and stayed for about 2 hours taking pictures and looking for objects to take for fingerprints. The one officer shook his head and said he had never seen anything like it in his 25 years of working with the force.
The intruder put our dog in the back neighbor's fence. This kept "Jett" from bothering him. He has a small wound but will be okay.
I am afraid although, I am keeping a strong front up for my kids. I did cry a bit last night and Sam came over hugged me and said, "We're good mom."
Please pray for us as we deal with all of this... I am so afraid...

*From "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette

Friday, November 10, 2006

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Christmas is all around me and so the feeling grows *

Rejoyce and I have bonded in that our favorite movie is Love Actually! If you haven't seen it go rent it!!

Scott, you would like it since you said that you believe love wins in the end.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around." Prime Minister (Hugh Grant)

*From "Christmas is all Around " by Billy Mack

This weeks memories...

We have climbed up on the monkey bars and Jaden, who is at the very top, screams, "Hey guys I can see Texas from up here!"

While riding home on the bus from a farm field trip TJ looks over the aisle to me and says, "Teacher, will you hold my hand?" bet I did!

I am sitting in the kid train and Robert climbs over the top telling me that he is a policeman, "I just swallowed some bugs and now I am a policeman."

As we sit at lunch I am teaching the kids some sign language. I show them a sign then ask, "Do you know what this means?" We went through several signs when Austin yelled to me as he put his fingers on his head, "Do you know what this means?" I told him I didn't and he said, "It means my fingers are walking over my head."

Alex sits in my lap as we look at the disc with our farm field trip pics on it. We come across one of me and Alex screams, "There's you!" I keep clicking through and he says, "I want to see you." So I go back and Alex snuggles up to me and looks at my picture. What a sweetie!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Time for a new story..add to it guys..

The musty smell of the Lawyer's office hit her even before the heat did. "Sorry the air conditioner is not working" the nice lady behind the desk whispered. This visit she was making had so unnerved her that when the nice lady asked her which lawyer she was seeing her mind went blank. All she wanted was....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

All you need is What you want is All you need is Love...Dave Matthews..."Everyday" this video...what if we all got up like this..awesome!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Been to the river....

Toad the Wet Sprocket

There comes a time in life
To pull on your coat and go outside
To taste the vinegar of life, bitter life
To taste a second time, its sweet surprise
Sweet surprise


Sam talked me into going on the family retreat this weekend. I am glad he did. I loved watching him play. I loved taking a drive through the hills. I loved seeing the deer. The hunters I saw were a bit creepy. I loved looking at this river. I especially loved when my son served me communion.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This weeks memories....

"Teacher, I am going to say a funny word..'privacy toenails'."... TJ

After opening a hershey's kiss for Alex he looks in my eyes and says, "You're so strong!"..Alex

"Teacher, will you marry me?"...TJ

Katie screaming during nap, "Teacher, am I making good choices?"...Katie

Walking by Jaden playing in Centers I say, "Hey, boyfriend!" He says, "Hey girlfriend!"..Jaden

After helping Jaden put his coat on he looks at me and says, "Do you want me to help you put your coat on?" So Jaden helped me put my coat on before we went outside...Jaden

Alex and I walk out to pick up the rest of the students from Motor Lab. Alex hung out with me after his meltdown. Its turned cold outside and I tell Alex that I am so cold. He looks up at me, "I have a jacket." He tries to wrap half of his little jacket around me....Alex

Jumping in the Air Castle with my kids was the highlight of my week!!

Matthew 11:25
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na

So I'm at the playground with my students and I walk over to check out what Noah and TJ are up to. "I am Batman and we are going to Mr. Gattis!" (pizza place in abilene) I was like, "Well, you want me to serve you up something?" So I get behind the play counter and serve them up some well, dirt pizza but its really yummy in make-believe land. I ask, "Can I ride in your Batmobile?" They tell me "Sure" and we all go climb onto the skeleton of a truck sitting in the middle of the playground. Batman sits in the driver's seat as Robin sits beside him carrying some "cookies" (not sure what the cookies are about but he's guarding them like they're the crown jewels). Batman stops and says, "We're here! Come on Robin" then, this was the great moment for me, he looks at me and says, "Come on Batgirl!" I was like, "Wait a minute, I'M Batgirl?" TJ tells me yes as we go on to more adventures. The coolest..two four year olds included me in their Batman fantasy and the coolest was they dubbed me Batgirl.